A SMALL microbrewery in Poole has recalled the fascinating circumstances of how they came to appear on the Amazon Prime TV series Beer Masters.
After meticulously researching the old Marston’s Dolphin Brewery and its roots in the Poole area, beer enthusiast Richard Pride decided he wanted to bring the historical brewery back but with a modern twist.
He said: “Quite a few years ago, I started looking into the history of brewing in Poole and found that it is quite a historical place.
“I thought that is was a part of the town’s history that should be brought back to life.”
Formed from the remnants of the former Marston’s brewery, founded in 1750, Richard Pride and his close friend Mike Garrett set up the new Dolphin Brewery in January 2017.
After mothballing the brewery during the Covid-19 pandemic, Mike came across an advert for an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
“It was one of these complete flukes,” he said.
“I filled in the questionnaire that they had, uploaded a photo of me in the garden and sent if off. I didn’t hear anything back from them for about a month.
“I got a call from them to say that we were through to the next stage, which was a screen call and there was a technical Q&A with one of the marketing directors from Stella.
“We then got told we were either in it or first reserve, and it turned out we were selected for the show.”
Dolphin Brewery in Poole was selected as the national representative for the Beers Masters series, which saw home brewers from across Europe taking part in a series of challenges to make different types of beers in a Great British Bake Off-style competition.
The original plans for the show, hosted by musician and beer enthusiast James Blunt and London based brewer Jaega Wise, would have seen the brewers travel from country to country, learning about the beers and gaining an experience for the brewing process.
However, due to the pandemic, filming for the show was all done in the UK.
Mike said: “It was just a fantastic process. There are some styles which are not British, and I personally had never done before.
“There was a Pilsner challenge and a beer that had to be between nine and 12 per cent which is something we never really do.
“Then we did the filming which was just something else. Meeting James Blunt and Jaega Wise was great.”
The duo said they both learnt a lot for the whole process and will be continuing the brewing of a handful of beers which they produced for the show.
After the show aired in full on Amazon Prime on November 11, Richard said the programme has helped to elevate their profile immensely.
Now the home brewery look to use their success in the show to help boost their business, with thoughts of setting up their own pub in Poole.
Richard said: “For us, it is now a case of managing our growth. Whilst we want to use this as a springboard to grow as a business, we can’t get ahead of ourselves.
“I have been looking at buying our own pub. I have looked at The Swan in Poole as that was one of the old Marston’s breweries.
“I would like to do a kind of history of brewing in Poole there and have a tap house out the back. It is something I have always wanted to do but it is a case of finding the right time and funding or it.”
Watch all five episodes from the Beer Master series on Amazon Prime now.